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An increased vitamin intake may help Alzheimer patients

January 30, 2015

A supplementation of Alzheimer patients with vitamin EB vitamins and amino acids seems to improve their cognitive performance and mood reports a new US study.

In the randomized controlled trial, 106 patients with Alzheimer’s disease received a daily nutrient combination – with vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), folatevitamin B12, amino acids (S-adenosyl methioinine and N-acetyl cysteine) as well as acetyl-L-carnitine – or placebo for three or six month (1). After these treatment periods all participants received the nutrient combination for six additional months. The study results showed that patients who received the nutrients significantly improved versus the placebo group regarding their cognitive performance and mood resp. behavior within three months.  All patient groups improved or maintained baseline performance during the additional six months when they were supplemented with nutrients.

The scientists commented that increasing evidence points toward the efficacy of nutritional modifications in delaying cognitive decline and mood/behavioral difficulties in Alzheimer’s disease. As nutritional supplementation with individual nutrients has shown varied results, the new findings support a treatment with a combination of nutrients. An insufficient supply with B vitamins has been linked with high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine which has been associated with an increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (2). Earlier findings already indicated a benefit of alpha-tocopherol in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease by slowing functional decline and decreasing caregiver burden (3).

References

  1. Remington R. et al. A Phase II Randomized Clinical Trial of a Nutritional Formulation for Cognition and Mood in Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Published online January 2015.
  2. Morris M. S. and al. Hyperhomocysteinemia associated with poor recall in the third national health and nutrition examination survey. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2001; 73:927–933.
  3. Dysken M. W. et al. Effect of vitamin E and memantine on functional decline in Alzheimer disease: the TEAM-AD VA cooperative randomized trial. JAMA. 2014; 311(1):33-44.